BHSU basketball

Black Hills State University's Riley Ryan (32) drives to the hoop last season against Western State.

Chris Huber, Journal staff

Black Hills State University is advertising its men’s basketball game Saturday against Montana State-Billings as a matinee with a 2 p.m. tip at the Donald E. Young Center.

My reaction to that is, “heck yeah.”

Now, normally there’s no real reason to get that excited over a start time for a sporting event, but when you consider the Yellow Jackets normally play at 7:30 p.m., that catches my attention.

The 7:30 p.m. starts for men’s basketball (also at South Dakota School of Mines) makes it a little more difficult for deadline purposes with our 10 p.m. copy deadline.

The 5:30 p.m. starts for the women’s games in the doubleheaders means we have more time to write and more time to figure out what to write about.

Afternoon games are all right by me. One good thing about college football, most of the games are Saturday afternoon. No complaints here.

If you go to Spearfish today, you’ll see a matchup between the Yellow Jackets and Yellowjackets. I’m not sure if one is correct and the other is not, but the Yellowjackets are from Montana State-Billings. I’ll try to explain in my story for Sunday, just in case.

For the Yellow Jackets of Black Hills State, you’ll likely need a program if you are a regular spectator but missed the team’s season openers last weekend. Second year head coach Jeff Trumbauer is rebuilding his roster and only a handful return from last season, albeit some of the losses are through graduation.

One longtime returner is senior forward Riley Ryan, who is off to an outstanding start. Ryan is coming off a huge game against Division I Grand Canyon State last Tuesday in Phoenix, where he scored 34 points on 11-of-15 shooting, including 6 of 10 3-pointers.

Officially for the season, though, Ryan has scored just 30 points. Tuesday didn’t count as it was an exhibition for the Yellow Jackets. If it did, he would be averaging 21 points a game. Officially through two games, he is averaging 15 points and eight rebounds a game.

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BHSU-SD Mines week coming up

Speaking of the 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. doubleheaders, the BHSU and Mines men's and women's teams will lock horns on Dec. 3 in Spearfish in the first of two annual rivalry battles.

This time the games will count in the conference standings as the Hardrockers are officially members of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference. It will be the school’s first conference basketball game since it belonged to the old Dakota Athletic Conference with the Jackets.

Of course, no one asked me but if they did, I’d go for a 2 p.m. start.

Heck yeah.

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